Friday, August 15, 2014

The Making of the Rings

The Garifuna of Cayos Cochinos make jewelry and one of the things they make are rings. The raw material for the rings can be found hiking the hills of Cayos, which we did. The nuts are attached to the roots of the tree and it takes careful observation to see the little swell in the soil along the root line, dig away, and voila, unearth the nut. According to our friend, Mr Sherman Arch, the nuts come from the Cajones Tree, an appropriately named tree for wedding rings one supposes. 

John had given Bryna his Granmother's ring and the thought of having this heirloom go bouncing off the bow of Leap was not a memory any of us wished to have. So we got busy devising a plan to make the rings. 

Charlie created a jig to hold the little buggers while he sliced through them with the oscillating saw.

Next step: Clean out the nutmeat

Drill bit works great

We worked back and forth between the two of us drilling out the centers to size the rings. 

Below Charlie is roughing out the shape of the outside of the rings

We continued sanding with various grits of paper until we achieved a smooth comfortable wearable shape.

For the final step we sanded with 1200 grit wet/dry paper, polishing the rings to a beautiful walnut color.

Momentos of Cayos Cochinos

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Romance Leap Style

We are happy to announce the very romantic wedding of our daughter Bryna to John: who already is our son-in-law, as the two had a civil ceremony this past March. We did not make the trek home because Bryna and John wanted to have a tropical wedding and sailing vacation somewhere, sometime. Alas, the time FINALLY came! They arrived in Roatan two days before their upcoming ceremony allowing us time to show them around French Cay Harbor. 

When they first arrived we recommended a photo be taken while Leap was neat and tidy. She doesn't stay that way long even when it's just the two of us.

Checking things out

We took them to Temporary Cal's on their first night for a sundown dinner. Cal's has a spectacular view and fabulous food. If you ever visit Roatan, dining at Temporary Cal's is a must.

It was a bit windy.

Visiting Mr Sherman Arch's Iguana Preserve

We arrived a bit late for feeding time but a few iguanas were still holding out for last minute treats

The gift shop. The best deal on Roatan that we have found for Honduran made items.

Some of the other residents

Snorkeling in Mr Sherman Arch's Lobster Park - L to R: John, Bryna, Karen

John took the following photos in the marine park. 

Bryna with a curious lobster

One of the largest Cowfish we have ever seen

Karen leaving behind a school of assorted fish.

Mr Sherman Arch's pet Barracuda, Rocket: a fat and sassy 4 to 5 footer who expects treats when humans are near.

Bryna's hand for a size comparison. A large hermit crab.

The remains of a sea urchin 

A small ray cruising the turtle grass.

Karen (L) and Bryna (R) checking things out.

On Sunday July 13 at 11am the ceremony began onboard Leap with Captain Charlie presiding, followed by a reception at the Caye Harbor View Lodge. 

Our friend Johnny filmed the ceremony with our iPad from the Bosuns chair: a seat used to go up the mast to do repairs and maintenance. It was his idea, so we hoisted him up the mast and he filmed the whole ceremony perched above the Bride and Groom. Now we just have to get better at this iMovie editing and get the movie posted to the blog.


The Bouquet and Ring

The Bouquet and Two Rings - the ring story deserves a paragraph of its own

Bryna, John and The Cake

The Cake - the owner of Caye Harbor - Donna - made the cake. A Mango Upside Down Cake using my recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Donna thought the sheet cake needed more pizazz and asked me if it would be alright to make it tiered with a bundt cake on top, because bundt cakes are well liked here. I said sure, and then she said, she would add some flowers for decoration.  Well what else could you ask for? It was gorgeous and yummy. 

Our plans for a big " cruiser party" were somewhat thwarted by the late date. So many of our cruiser friends moved on to cooler climes or safer waters (think hurricane season). Nonetheless we had a good turn out and a good party. John and Susie on "Cabaret" set up their sound system and Susie did what Susie loves, play music and dance. We wish to thank everyone who attended. Your presence added to the joy of the day.

The Bride - on the left 

The Groom

The Proud Parents

Dancing with Dad

.....then Susie from Cabaret

......then John from Cabaret

The "parking lot"

End of Day Splash

Now For Some Sailing With The Newlyweds

Monday morning we hauled anchor and sailed to Cayos Cochinos, one of our special places we wanted to share with Bryna and John. We enjoyed snorkeling, hiking, relaxing and imbibing sundowners.  The stay at Cayos was too short but it gives the newlyweds something to look forward to on their next trip.

Leaving French Cay Harbor

And yes, we arrived at our mooring before dark!

Sights and Hikes

Bryna and John preparing for a snorkel

They're off

...and they're back. Yes, that is Bryna rolling in the surf with her very own elegant entry back onto the beach.

.....and she's up.

Hiking scenes - Assorted Photos taken by all of us.

Boa constrictor #1

Boa constrictor #2

The Nest- Honestly, what was this mother thinking? She wasn't planning on any storms coming along.

This is not a tree to use for a hand hold while hiking.

A beach heart for the couple

More crabs to play with, but in this case a deceased one.

Any shelter in a storm. Bryna calls him, Hobo Crab.

Assorted Rock Formations

Forward Ho!

Leap - patiently waiting for our return for sundowners and dinner.

One cannot visit Cayos Cochinos without meeting Fausto, a local Garifuna. He travels out from the village selling fish and jewelry that is made by the Garifuna.  Bryna and John purchased some very nice souvenirs at very reasonable prices.

More Snorkeling Adventures - underwater photos by either John or Bryna


John exploring the depths

Our last night in Cayos Cochinos. Tomorrow we head to Little Cayos for a morning swim and snorkel, then an afternoon sail back to West End Roatan.

Adventures on Little Cayos Cochinos


Charlie attempting to get a very large puffer fish to puff, but the puffer is staying just beyond his reach.
Bryna hanging out

John checking on the residents in the sea fans

Beach time

Bamboo driftwood

Drummin' on the ole' bamboo

Bryna and John soaking it all in before setting sail for West End Roatan

The inevitable plane trip home was out of Roatan International Airport so we reluctantly hoisted anchor again, leaving Cayos behind, setting sail for West End, Roatan: another one of our favorite places. The winds were plentiful, the sails full and then too full, so we reefed the sails and eased into a beautiful day of sailing. John and Bryna had no intention of turning over the helm to our old friend "Otto Auto" and thus took turns steering Leap and giving our old friend a break. 

If we had not been in a marine park this Hog Snapper would have been dinner

Trigger Fish

Charlie found this crab claw on the bottom and no crab insight.  

Moray - probably around 6 ft long under a ledge about 40ft deep.

Not sure what the green spotted glow in the dark formation is.

Leap on her mooring in West End waiting patiently again
John and Bryna enjoying hammock time on the foredeck
Time to dry things out for packing.

The day of departure was sad indeed and came far to quickly. We did not accompany the pair to the airport because we had to get underway and head to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala. Our appearance date for our new job was fast approaching and we had a 136 mile sail ahead of us. So instead, we hoisted anchor for the first leg of our trip setting sail for Utilla to check out of Honduras and say goodbye to friends we would be leaving behind for a while. John and Bryna left on a Sunday and by Tuesday morning we were on our way to the Rio Dulce.